Book: A Beautiful Constraint

I found A Beautiful Constraint (Amazon) really helpful and interesting. I found it articulated a way that I think naturally (systems thinking / constraints in general) and gave me some extra tools to work with. The first tool is the idea of embracing certain constraints. E.g. needing to reduce water consumption, and instead of setting […]

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On Skip 1:1s

One of the first things I did as a new manager of managers was schedule skip 1:1s with everyone on the team. I blocked off an hour per person, and crammed ~20 hours of them into my first two weeks – along with a lightning trip from Buenos Aires to Philly for WordCamp US. It was […]

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Book: The Gifts of Imperfection

A book recommendation at the perfect time is a gift. That’s what The Gifts of Imperfection (Amazon) was for me when my coach recommended it. It’s hard, as a result, to describe what I got out of it – I read it in 3 (weekday, working) days – in this place of yes yes yes this […]

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The Magic of #FEELINGStime

A truth that should be universally acknowledged – but isn’t – is that a group of hardworking people do not necessarily make a high performing team. On a basic level, a group of hard working people checking code into the same codebase isn’t necessarily a team. At a more complex level, hard work doesn’t necessarily […]

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The Goals Spreadsheet

At the end of the year, my coach had me make a list of 40 goals for 2017. They range from the very professional to the very personal. From the serious to the purely for fun. Of course, I broke them into sections and put them in a spreadsheet. At the start of each month I […]

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I Send Love Letters from Airports

January 3, 2016, I sent an email to 66 friends from CGD. In it, I wrote about falling in love with the Eiffel tower, spinning around in circles, and the entwined history of luggage and travel. July 1, 2017, another email from CDG. This time to 322 people. I wrote about an early morning walk […]

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Org Survey Part 2: Analysis

This is the second part of running an org survey. You can find the questions in part 1. What Does The Data Look Like? First step is color-coding the spreadsheet to show trends in the numbers. I made a sample spreadsheet and generated random data – so it looks a little chaotic – but you […]

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Org Survey Part 1: Questions

I remember when I managed a 6 person team, and I always felt like I had a handle on what was going on (perhaps I’m being overly nostalgic here). Now I manage a ~26 person organisation, and on a good day I feel like I have a general idea of what’s happening, and certain specific […]

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Book: The Coaching Habit

The Coaching Habit (Amazon) is a really helpful book about asking questions. It starts with the premise of offer less advice, and ask more questions (which obviously I am bought into). I also like the concept of “the advice monster”. It probably belabours the point a bit, but it’s a short read so that isn’t too […]

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